Most people are spending more time indoors than they were used to for various reasons, such as lockdowns, increased reliance on electronics, or just a general lack of motivation to go outside.
That being said, kids need some time outside. It’s vital for their mental and physical health, and it aids in their development. Since it’s so important to encourage the love of the outdoors in your children for their happiness and personal development, here are the most important tips to promote outdoor play among your kids.
Tips to Encourage Outdoor Play
1. Lead by Example
If your child sees you all day on your couch switching between TV channels, they won’t be motivated to move. So, lead by example, and become an outdoorsy person if you aren’t already.
2. Water Is Always the Answer
Very few people don’t love playing with water. Just picturing that cold and refreshing water makes people feel like they’re already on vacation. So, get your kids a water table, or turn on the sprinklers for some backyard fun. If it’s raining, why not act out your favorite music videos by playing in the rain?
3. Take the Indoors Out
Move the children’s toys outside, and start doing normal activities out. We’re talking about reading and eating. Bringing the indoors outside will encourage them to do the same.
4. Incorporate Natural Resources
Do you have tree stumps in your backyard or an area that tends to get muddy? Make the best of what you already have because not everyone needs to spend a fortune on expensive toys to have fun. So, get creative, and invent games that utilize your surroundings.
5. Just Keep Swimming
Swimming is one of the easiest and most common ways to get your child’s body moving after a very sedentary day inside. To elaborate, taking them swimming in a pool, the sea, or other water bodies is both fun and beneficial to them.
6. Prepare for the Weather
Be smart about outdoor play so that your children can make the most out of it. Check the weather beforehand, and prepare for it. Do you need heavy clothes and waterproof accessories, or would light clothes be more appropriate? See what needs to be done before you get out of the house. This way, nothing will get in the way of the kids having fun.
7. Explore Different Places
It’s perfectly normal for your kids to have a preferred location for their outdoor activities, but changing up the scenery from time to time is beneficial. In other words, your backyard may be familiar, but a farm or botanical garden is more interesting. Moreover, there’s no limit to exploring nature, especially with curious children who make everything more fun.
8. Turn It Into Family Time
Are you tired of only sitting with your kids when their faces are plastered to a screen? Outdoor play can be scheduled family time that helps you bond with your kids and have fun with them.
9. Ask for Kid’s Help With Outdoor Chores
A very straightforward way to get your kids outside is to make them help you with the outdoor chores. For instance, they can walk the dog, water the plants, hang laundry for drying, or help wash the car. Furthermore, this not only gets them outside but also teaches them essential life skills.
10. Tolerate the Mess
Nobody loves having a mess to deal with, but making a mess is an inescapable part of being a child. And you can make things better by preparing for cleanup beforehand. What matters most is that you allow them to experience sand, mud, water, and nature.
11. Don’t Interrupt Children
Many parents make the mistake of constantly interrupting their children when they’re deep into whatever activity they’re doing, which makes them lose their focus and motivation. And it ruins the mood. So, leave them to do their own thing, and let them appreciate outdoor play.
12. Suggest a Nature Diary
Nature diaries are seriously underrated in this day and age. They encourage kids not only to go outside but also to be mindful of their surroundings. It’s a great incentive to help them notice everything in nature and draw or write it down.
13. Go Camping
Camping is an adventure that every kid must experience at least once in their lifetime. It gives them a change of scenery and helps them understand teamwork and develop necessary life skills. So, get a tent and some camping supplies, plan out the most enjoyable camping trip that you can, and keep your children’s interests in mind.
14. Invite Friends
Children love company, and no matter how much they love family time, they need their friends. So, if you invite their friends to come along with them, your children will have more fun. It can also be a chance for them to make new friends around the neighborhood. So, start planning those playdates.
15. Limit Smart Devices and TVs Gradually
One of the main reasons you have to make an effort to get your kids outside is electronics, whether it’s the TV or their phones and Ipads. If you limit their screen time, they’ll seek entertainment elsewhere, which will make it easier to get them outside.
However, a gradual limitation is more natural and unnoticeable than a sudden, “don’t use your phone”. We’re enriching kids’ free time, not punishing them, after all.
Hopefully, you now know how to make your kids fall in love with the outside world. It isn’t rocket science. All you need is to pay attention to what they already love and encourage it even more. So, start by bringing their indoor life outside. Then, change up the scenery entirely as time goes by. This should make outdoor play a piece of cake.